Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing. ~ Theodore Roosevelt
Do you know this man? I’m willing to bet you do. I’ll explain in a moment.
I know that many, perhaps most, of the readers of this blog are women, but this post is a bit different in that I’m speaking to the men. These are dark times for our entire country, but most of all for those of you who have been hit by unemployment. I know how that feels and count myself fortunate to be working when so many good men are not.
You worked hard, brought home your pay, built a life, and now that everything is threatened I wish that I could tell you that I’m about to reveal the secret to getting back to work. I’m afraid I’m completely unqualified for that task, but there are a few things I do know that are worth saying:
Remember who you are. You are the latest addition to an ancient line of winners. Every man in your line stretching back to a time before history, was a winner. If that weren’t so you wouldn’t be here. They survived, prospered, and prepared the world for you. You are not less than they were. You’re a winner. Don’t let anyone, especially you, say otherwise.
Look around. I see the greatest nation in the history of God’s earth; mighty, strong, and good. It wasn’t Divine Providence that made America so, it was the strong backs and iron will of her men–men like you. In only 100 years from 1800 to 1900, this nation turned a continent from wilderness to a world power and the envy of the globe. We haven’t changed and we haven’t run out of men.
It’s a mancession. Men have lost 192 jobs for every 100 jobs that women have lost in this recession. The sorts of jobs men gravitate towards have been the hardest hit. That means it will be a man-sized recovery when it comes; and it will come. You’ll be ready.
So, who is the cocky young guy in the photo? I admit it’s unlikely you know him; but I’m fairly certain you know someone just like him. In 1974 he lost his job when the the only company for which he had ever worked shut down. He was 55 years old. He had 4 of seven children still living at home. Unemployment was high. The economy in his home town was consistently awful. And yet, somehow, he survived. I don’t know how he managed, who he had to ask for work, what moments of despair he may have felt, or how his pride suffered. It didn’t matter. His family was fed and in the end he stepped over the finish line of his life as a winner. I know this because that man was my father. Perfect? No. Tough as nails? You bet. There’s plenty more just like him and there’s plenty of work needed to set this country aright.
You’re just the man for the job.